Grenade Hand Frag HE M26
Tales from the Tiger



Grenade Hand Frag HE M26

© By Jack Bradd
C Company 2nd Tour
author: Jack Bradd


M26 Hand GrenadeExcept for the Machine Gun No.1 and the M79 carrier not all 'Diggers' carried two of these grenades but to my knowledge little is known of their use.

I carried an SLR and managed to get hold of a launcher (slang term: spigot) and ballistite cartridges (very powerful case with a crimped neck and no bullet). These ballistite rounds were capable of punching the grenade through thick weeds and were very effective. However the SLR required the gas plug to be turned upside down, all ball ammo removed and a ballistite chambered, the safety clip and pin removed from the grenade then the grenade could be projected. A lot of diggers would not fire them twice because after picking themselves up from the ground would have to go searching for the SLR which normally went in the opposite direction of the grenade.

After firing, the SLR had to be reconditioned to fire ball ammo though in an emergency it could fire single shots by re-cocking, not a good position to be in against AK 47s.

The easiest place to carry the spigot was on the SLR and it was while we were working with the 'Cents' (Centurion tanks) that a 'Turret head' asked me what was that thing on the end of my SLR. I told him it was a silencer, he replied in amazement 'You Crunchies get all the good gear!'

Most of the time I would use the grenade as it was meant to be used
by hand. However this had it's drawbacks because as soon as I readied one a cry would go up 'Jack's got a grenade!' and the Section would disappear. After I threw the grenade the Section would magically reappear.

After one contact the platoon commander, Lieutenant Hosie, had a go at me by telling me to be careful where I threw my grenades as one had blown him over. I was concerned at this and showed him my two unused M26s, then a digger spoke up he reckoned the 'Nogs' had fired RPGs at the Section (most probably aimed at myself and Tex our machine gun No1 as we were big blokes) and one of these had blown Lt. Hosie over. He bought me a beer at the end of the Op.

When I talk to diggers today, like Section 2IC Barry Baker and machine gun No.1 Tex Nevins, they blame me for throwing grenades at them. I never threw grenades at 'Bazza' but one of my grenades bounced back from a tree and landed under a huge rock that Tex had set the gun up on. The rock and Tex disappeared in the flash, smoke and dust but he was OK as pure Queenslander abuse echoed through the weeds, all of it directed at me. I learned a few new swear words that day and that was the only time Tex was ever a grenade magnet.